The Student Room Group

Struggling with Loneliness and Social Anxiety at Uni

Hi, I'm not sure if I need advice, or I just need to vent, so yeah. I'm just trying to figure things out.

Its probably worth mentioning that I am very introverted and I struggle with social anxiety and anxiety generally. I'm almost certainly on the autistic spectrum (high functioning).

I've just started my second year of Uni (studying am Engineering course) and I am incredibly lonely. (I'll be 20 in a few days).

Almost 6 months ago, my now ex and I broke up and in the process I lost most of my close friends, simply because we shared most of our friends. The breakup was amicable, but I lost my partner and best friend, and most of my friends almost overnight. I struggled for a few months, but I have slowly been coming out the other side.

My closest friend left went through his own breakup about 2 months after my own and I have been doing my best to support him, but I've had a really tough time doing so. Mostly, I have been worried about saying the wrong thing, but it has been very emotionally draining on myself.

I have been making an effort to meet people, I've been attending societies at Uni and I have heavily engaged with the SU. I've also tried to reconnect with a number of old friends from high school, without much luck. I find social settings quite stressful at the best of times and I try to be upfront about that, warning people of my awkwardness, but is that the wrong thing to do? I wouldn't want them to be surprised by it.

Furthermore, I don't drink and I commute to University, so I feel like an "outsider" from the get go already. Going for nights out in clubs really does not appeal to me, at all.

In the past month or so, someone expressed interest in dating, but I didn't feel the same way. A mixture of not having any feelings and not being ready for a relationship. I was very open about where I was, emotionally speaking, but I found the whole experience awful. I miss being in a relationship and feeling that security and having someone I can count on, but I definitely believe that no relationship is better than a wrong one.

I guess all these things have left me feeling really lonely and isolated and I don't really know what to do. I want to enjoy my time at Uni outside of lectures, but right now I don't see that happening and I know the longer I remain in this state, the worse it will get as it will fester.

I guess I'm done now haha, I'm sorry for the long message. Just wanted to get things off my chest. Have a nice evening all.
Reply 1
I’m sorry to hear you are lonely in your college days. It seems like you’re having a hard time, especially with the separation and losing your best friends to it. “It’s okay for you to be emotional from these experiences.
First off, it is good to hear you are attempting to meet new people by going out to societies at Uni, etc, and engaging with the Students’ Union. These are great ways to connect with people who have similar interests. Make sure you are honest about your social anxiety and awkwardness, as this helps set expectations and allows others to know where you’re coming from. It may help ease their anxiety by letting them know that they’re not the only one who doesn't feel comfortable in social situations.
And you should know, that it takes time to make new relationships and that’s okay, it doesn’t happen immediately. Be kind and gentle with yourself and don’t expect it to be perfect. You can make small moves such as going to social events, or starting conversations with people, which will gradually lead you to make new connections. Also, talk to the counseling services at your school for more help. They may have programs and funded resources dedicated to students feeling lonely or anxious.
When it comes to dating, that’s perfectly fine, if you’re not ready, or you don’t feel any romantic urges right now. You need to make your own mental and physical health a priority and be in a good place yourself for a relationship. Eventually, taking time to heal and prioritize yourself can result in more wholesome and satisfying partnerships.
Finally, don’t feel shy about discussing your thoughts and experiences with people you trust such as family or other friends. Sometimes just talking and having someone to listen can provide comfort and support.

Just know that you are not alone, and a lot of others have had the same struggle. You will have to be patient, care for yourself, and look up for chances to connect you can slowly but surely find your way in uni and make a fulfilling social life for yourself. Be good to yourself, because life is tough enough. Wishing you brighter times soon.
Reply 2
Thank you for taking the time to respond, it really meant a lot to me.

I'm going to try and do my best and work through this and I'm not going to rush it. I suppose some days are just harder than others.

Thank you again, it really meant a lot to read what you put and I've taken it all on board.

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